Supporting science communicators – new approaches

Supporting science communicators – new approaches

Author: Liesbeth de Bakker – Utrecht University, Netherlands

Ayelet Baram-Tsabari – Technion – Israel Institute of Technology, Israel
Dacia Herbulock – Science Media Centre (NZ) – Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand
Lotta Tomasson – Vetenskap & Allmanhet, Sweden
Caroline Wehrmann – Delft University of Technology, Netherlands

In this session, we will discuss how challenges and opportunities in science communication can be met with innovative tools, which share a deep commitment to dialogue and audience-centered techniques. Five stories will be shared as a basis for the following group discussions.

Many scientists struggle to make their stories accessible to a general audience. Now they can rely on the free of charge and scientist-friendly De-Jargonizer, which is hosted at It will suggest what vocabulary to avoid while interacting with the public.

True and profound interaction with your audience is hard to achieve. Scientists in Sweden can now use the online – Toolbox for Science Communication ( – for inspiration, methods and support in engaging with society.

What is actually going in public discourse? In the Dutch Teaching and Learning Lab, cameras and microphones enable researchers to observe and study in detail multiple aspects of interactions and group dynamics in science dialogue.

In New Zealand a new “micro” training format for interactive communication is developed. It targets hard-to-reach scientists who are less inclined to seek out science communication training. It offers brief, intensive feedback sessions with individuals during scientific conferences, breaking down entrenched attitudes about who needs this training and why.

As science stories increasingly are being based on complex problems, we explain how practitioners, science communication experts and students analyze those complex problems together and develop strategies and tools to find solutions in Dutch ‘C-labs’.

After short presentations the round table will proceed into group discussions. There participants can deepen their understanding of the case they are most interested in, and hear about the pitfalls and challenges. In a plenary wrap-up we will report about the lessons learned.

Presentation type: Roundtable discussion
Theme: Stories
Area of interest: Teaching science communication